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Published: Sunday 30 April 2006

A us federal court recently ordered Google to hand over some search data, including 50,000 web addresses, to the us government, although a request to hand over a list of people's search requests was denied.

This request was made by the justice department to access search records to help prevent access to online pornography. The judge denied a part of the request due to privacy considerations.

"What this ruling means is that neither the government nor anyone else has carte blanche when demanding data from Internet companies," Google lawyer Nicole Wong said.

The ruling is significant in the context of a child anti-pornography law that has been blocked by the Supreme Court because of legal challenges over how it is to be enforced.

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